The holidays are now in the rear view mirror. It doesn’t have to be doom and gloom however in your association. Resolve this year to start off on the right foot, get rid of the clutter, get a grip on your finances, and make sure you don’t get locked into bad deals for yet another year. Here are some hints:
- Getting out of bad deals: Some associations reading our blog today are still under developer control or recently were turned over to majority unit owner control. Upon turnover, you may find that the developer signed some bad deals on behalf of the association with various companies or vendors. The Florida Condominium Act would allow the association to get out of many of these bad contracts with a 75% unit owner vote. So, you’re not necessarily locked into a bad deal the developer made at your expense.
- Even if the developer didn’t sign a bad contract binding the association, it’s quite possible the Board did. Check all of your contracts to find out when they expire. Many have automatic renewal clauses that lock the association into long term agreements if the association does not timely reject the automatic renewal. If you want out……make sure you provide the vendor with the appropriate time as required by the contract.
- I’ve been to many of your offices. They are a mess. Yes……I’m talking to you. You have records in the office from the 1960s and 70s. You don’t need them any longer. There’s no reason to hold on to a copy of the bill for the plumber who repaired the sink in Unit 310 in 1968. Trust me, it’s out of warranty by now. Generally speaking, if a record is more than 7 years old, you need not keep a copy of it. In fact, all election materials can be thrown out after only one year. Neatness and organization count. If nothing else……it makes the relevant records easier to find when the owners want copies of them.
- Stop looking at that dangerous busted sidewalk or broken step, thinking that somehow this is the year that it will magically repair itself. It won’t. It’s time to step up to the plate and fix it once and for all. You should thank your lucky stars that nobody was hurt yet, because if someone does get hurt and the plaintiff can prove the board members knew about the danger and deliberately chose to ignore it, board members may be sued in their individual capacity.
- If your association has not started a friendly newsletter, think about starting one. A well informed community is usually a more peaceful community. Unit owners can even tolerate increases in assessments, if they feel that they are being kept in the loop as to why the increases are necessary.
And most important…………………..be kind to your lawyer.